November 13, 2016
I can honestly say that the times I am most at peace and being fulfilled is when I am offering the Holy sacrifice of the Mass for you and with you. Although our congregation is currently on the smaller size we are starting to grow. I believe its only a matter of time when many more parishioners will be worshiping with us at St. Joseph the Worker. Already we are welcoming many new faces and new young families. This is a wonderful sign that we are heading in the right direction.
But more important than our numbers is the beautiful reverence with which you enter into prayer as a congregation. I am so edified by you and proud of you. I feel a "fatherly" pride when visitors from out of the area comment on how they wish they lived closer to us in order to worship at St. Joseph's for Mass or when Father Paul Coleman shares with me how much he loves and looks forward to offering Mass at St. Joseph; how our parishioners are prayerful and attentive or when others express how beautiful the music is, etc.
One of our newer parishioners shared with me a little while back on how she has never seen a congregation so eager to receive communion and how people come to St. Joseph the Worker "because they really want to be here!"
Our main goal, as I expressed to you two years ago after having been recently assigned to St. Joseph, was for our parish to become a place of prayer; how I wanted St. Joseph to become a spiritual powerhouse, a place of beautiful prayer, reconciliation and healing. Together and with God's blessings we are making this a reality.
On Sunday, November 27th, we begin the Season of Advent. As a parish we will prepare ourselves in a more special and deliberate manner for the birth of the infant Jesus at Christmas and for our watching when Christ will return in glory to earth. And so with the same hopeful expectation of the early Church as they looked to the sky in the East in anticipation of the coming of Christ, we too at St. Joseph the Worker, will be praying, waiting and watching for the Lord as together we face "Liturgical East, while offering Mass ad orientem.
Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, has expressed his desire that priests throughout the world would offer the Mass ad orientem (liturgical East) on the first Sunday of Advent by which the people of God along with the priest would stand facing the Altar, and the tabernacle, and the crucifix while together offering worship and prayer to God.
This will not be a new experience for many of you as we have been offering Mass ad orientem at St. Joseph for two years during our evening Masses as we did recently at All Saints, All Souls and our First Friday evening Masses.
Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, the priests at St. Joseph the Worker will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem during our English Masses. The priest will not be facing away from the people as some may wrongly interpret, but rather the priest will be with them on the same side of the Altar, among them, and leading them in prayer while together facing Christ, and waiting for his return.
There is nothing new that the congregation must learn or change - the Mass offered ad orientem is the same exact Mass we are accustomed to on Sunday's with the exception of when the prayers are being offered to God, everyone together including the priest faces liturgical East and when the priest is addressing the people he deliberately faces the people of God to address them.
From my experience there is a deeper sense of mystery and transcendence experienced among the congregation (and for myself) when the Mass is offered ad orientem. Personally, I feel a deeper sense of closeness and unity with the congregation as we pray together facing liturgical East, especially during the "Our Father." There's something profound and reverential about a priest and God's people facing God together in unified prayer. May God continue to bless the work of our hands.
Fr. Kenneth Nobrega
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Dear Parishioners and friends of St. Joseph,
Before I entered the seminary in 2003, as a parishioner I used to financially support my parish church, St. Clement in Hayward with an average of $50.00 per week. And now as a priest, I earn less money than before but I presently support St. Joseph the Worker with $50.00 per week from my own monthly priest wage. Won't you please join me?
Our weekly goal in order to properly operate and to continue improving our parish is $8,875 per week. Your support is very important and necessary for us to continue moving forward.
"When you give, give generously and not with a stingy heart; for that, the LORD, your God, will bless you in all your works and undertakings." - Deuteronomy 15:10
Last Sunday on November 27th, we received approximately 27% of our weekly goal:
Your spiritual and financial support makes a huge difference. Thank you.
Peace of Christ,
Fr. Kenneth Nobrega
Choirs and Sacred Music is an extremely important component of Sacred Liturgy, and so it is with this, I am very pleased to announce that we are blessed to have a new organist and music consultant at St. Joseph the Worker. Sam Dorlaque comes to us with an impressive background and is highly regarded within the Catholic sacred music community.
If you are interested in joining a choir at St. Joseph the Worker church, please contact Sam Dorlaque at (510) 709 – 9036 or by email at email@example.com.